The Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival will kick off on Thursday as scheduled, despite the widespread flooding and heavy rainfall experienced in KwaZulu-Natal this week.
The Kearsney College campus is ready and organisers are looking forward to delivering the 13th edition of the festival after a two-year Covid-enforced absence.
The 12 participating teams are among the top rugby-playing schools in the country and spectators should experience some exhilarating rugby at the family friendly event.
Joining hosts Kearsney from KZN, are Glenwood, Westville and Durban High School (DHS). Four schools from Gauteng include Dr EG Jansen from Boksburg, Hoërskool Waterkloof, Hoërskool Monument and Pretoria Boys High.
There are a strong pair from the Eastern Cape in Selborne College from East London and Hoërskool Framesby from Gqeberha, with debutant Hoër Landbouskool Marlow from Cradock. Hoërskool Noord-Kaap from Kimberley completes the lineup.
Kearsney College traditionally play the opening game of the festival and on Thursday they will be facing Marlow. This season the visitors have had three games, but against relatively weak opposition. Kearsney may have the advantage, with six games under their belts, although two were narrow losses against Westville and Marais Viljoen, by two and one point, respectively.
Glenwood, the powerhouse of KZN school rugby for a number of years, will play the penultimate match on the opening day against Pretoria Boys High. The latter have not had a very good start to the season, losing all four games. Glenwood, perhaps not as strong as they have been in the past, have had victories over Northwood and Michaelhouse and a loss against Paarl Gimnasium.
Westville begin the festival with a difficult match against Hoërskool Monument, who have also lost against Paarl Gim, but have beaten Oakdale and Welkom Gim. Westville has started the season well with victories over Clifton, Queens and Kingswood. This game will be a good test for them.
In the second game of the first day, Durban High School (DHS) faces Waterkloof. The KZN side has lost both matches played so far, against Kearsney and Voortrekker from Bethlehem. Waterkloof lost against Grey College, winning three other matches against weaker opposition.
The only school besides the hosts to have participated in all previous festivals at Kearsney, Selborne College from East London play Hoërskool Noord-Kaap at lunchtime on the first day.
Festival play days are Thursday, Saturday and Monday, with kick-off at 9:30am on the first and last days and at 8am on Saturday to accommodate the Sharks afternoon game. Each day starts with a primary schools fixture between Umhlali Prep, Hillcrest Primary or Highbury against the KZNRU Ibutho U13 development team.
Fixtures and festival information are available on kearsney.com – and all matches will be live-streamed on the supersportschools.com app and website.
Thursday 14 April
8am Umhlali Prep School vs KZN lbutho/Mark Godefroy U13
9:30am Kearsney College vs Hoër Landbouskool Marlow
10:45am Durban High School vs Hoërskool Waterkloof
12pm Westville Boys’ High School vs Hoërskool Monument
1:15pm Hoërskool Noord-Kaap vs Selborne College
2:30pm Glenwood High School vs Pretoria Boys’ High School
3:45pm Hoërskool Framesby vs Dr EG Jansen
Saturday 16 April
7am Hillcrest Primary School vs KZN Ibutho/Mark Godefroy U13
8am Hoërskool Noord-Kaap vs Westville Boys’ High School
9:30am Hoërskool Monument vs Hoër Landbouskool Marlow
10:45am Kearsney College vs Hoërskool Waterkloof
12pm Dr EG Jansen vs Durban High School
1:15pm Pretoria Boys’ High School vs Hoërskool Framesby
2:30pm Glenwood High School vs Selborne College
Monday 18 April
8am Highbury Preparatory School vs KZN Ibutho/Mark Godefroy U13
9:30am Glenwood High School vs Dr EG Jansen
10:45am Westville Boys’ High School vs Selborne College
12pm Hoërskool Monument vs Durban High School
1:15pm Hoër Landbouskool Marlow vs Pretoria Boys’ High School
2:30pm Hoërskool Waterkloof vs Hoërskool Noord-Kaap
3:45pm Kearsney College vs Hoërskool Framesby